Photography on your wedding day is one of the most important areas to consider, after all these will be the primary photos you have to remember your day for the rest of your life. It’s so important to not only choose a photographer who you feel comfortable with (they will be with you all day and often capture your most intimate private moments), but to also discuss ahead of time with your photographer how you see the day going. I typically suggest that clients trust their photographers suggestions for photo locations and timing, but having an open discussion of your thoughts and wishes will help everyone get on the same page. Timing of your wedding day is so important in all aspects and especially for photography, a good timeline will set a couple up for a smooth and successful day. And will allow the photographer and vendors to provide their best services. So I do suggest before creating your wedding day schedule that you consult with your wedding planner, photographer and all vendors involved.
I recently sat down with Susie & Becky Photography who provide such a wonderful and detailed timeline example to their clients. Photography schedules will vary depending on your wedding details, whether you are doing a first look (more on this for a later post!), how large a wedding party you have, etc. But I really love how Susie & Becky Photography break-down their photo timing needs with their sample timeline.
So without further ado, here is there super detailed sample timeline, starting with the description of what is being photographed and the nitty gritty timing below.
SAMPLE TIMELINE WITH FIRST LOOK
Bridal Details (60min)
We like to arrive when the bride and groom are still relaxing with their wedding parties. The pace is still leisurely at this point. We ease into the day by checking in with you, seeing if there are any last minute changes, meeting your wedding party, and taking pictures of the bridal details
Groom and Guys (30min)
After detail photos, one of us heads over to the guys suite to get images the the last steps of his preparation – tying his tie and putting on his jacket, for instance. We also try to capture a little of the camaraderie between the groom and his groomsmen at this time. Last but not least, we get just a couple portraits of the handsome groom by himself.
Bride Gets Dress (30min)
Meanwhile, the other photographer stays with the bride for some of our favorite moments of any wedding day. This is when excitement and anticipation are at their highest. It’s best if bridesmaids and mothers are dressed before the bride starts dressing. We also try to use this time for gorgeous, classic, frameable bridal portraits.
Ceremony Details While Bride Hides (30min)
We plan a 30 minute buffer between the last planned photos and the ceremony to ensure that the bride is safely tucked away as guests begin to arrive. Generally, one photographer stays with the bride while the other goes down to the ceremony site to get ceremony details and to get in position for the big moment!
This is when you become husband and wife! We hold ceremonies sacred and simply watch the story unfold while finding the most unobtrusive, creative and beautiful angles we can.
Family Portraits (20-30min)
Your family will want these photos. About two months before the wedding, we’ll get a detailed list of family photos from you – even down to the first names of every family member. After that, we’ll arrange the group shots into the most efficient order. The day of your wedding, we’ll work quickly and make sure these are a pleasant experience for all.
Wedding Party (20min)
At this point, your wedding party is ready for cocktail hour and you’re ready for some time alone together. We’ll work quickly to get you both formal and candid photos with your wedding party.
Bride and Groom (30-45min)
After doing an engagement shoot with us,you’ll be looking forward to your portraits as one of the most romantic and private times of this perfect day. Just the two of you, celebrating your brand new life together!
Reception Details (20min)
Before your guests enter the reception hall, we’ll need about 20 minutes to take pictures of all those details you pored over. In addition, we take this time to set up lights so that all of the important reception events are recorded beautifully in well-light, vibrant images.
The Big Party!!!
At this point, we simply coordinate with the DJ or MC to make sure we know what’s coming up. If your portraits were taken during harsh sunlight, we always offer the option to go out for 15 minutes during dinner to get a few images in soft, glowy,romantic light. Besides that, we stay out of the way. We get plenty of fun dancing photos, then after the last event, we leave you to party the night away.
SAMPLE TIMELINE WITH FIRST LOOK
Bridal Details, 60 min
Groom Getting Ready, 15 min
Bride Gets Dressed, 30 min
First Look + Bride & Groom Portraits, 30-45 min
Wedding Party, 20 min
Family 20-30 min
Ceremony Details while Bride Hides, 30 min
Ceremony 30-60 min
Bride and Groom Just Married Pictures, 15 min
Reception Details, 20 min
Reception until last official event
Thanks again to Susie & Becky Photography for sharing this awesome timeline with us! They will be back later this month to weigh in on the pros and cons of doing a “first look” and photos before the ceremony.